This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

AMASH UP?

After Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan announced his retirement last week, names of possible GOP aspirants were flying — from Mitt Romney's brother, Scott, to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. But the underdog to watch is a 32-year old Ron Paul acolyte, Rep. Justin Amash, who has been enjoying a wave of publicity in the wake of Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster. One of the youngest members of the House, Amash has been part of the GOP's confrontational wing, voting against John Boehner for speaker and opposing any budget compromises. Amash's criticism of foreign policy hawkishness led John McCain to call him and Rand Paul "wacko birds." In an interview with National Journal this week, Amash wouldn't commit to running for the seat, but he sounded like a candidate, criticizing the GOP establishment for saddling the party with unelectable Senate nominees in recent cycles. None of the GOP's last four Senate nominees have won more than 42 percent of the vote in Michigan. Amash would face hurdles to the nomination, but his libertarian bent would position him to channel the tea-party enthusiasm that propelled other GOP long shots to victory.

Josh Kraushaar


THIS JUST IN

Flying Blind The first Senate budget in many years brought the return of an odd tradition: holding opening statements before publishing the document. Republican senators opposed to the general contours of Sen. Patty Murray's budget were reduced to citing press accounts of leaked revenue estimates, but that didn't hold them back — statements continued for more than two hours. "How do you explain Congress?" asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said his initial surprise was met with the revelation that Republicans had done the same when they led the committee. "We're talking about a document we haven't seen."

Roughing It If the Senate doesn't pass a budget, senators do not get paid, which puts Republicans in the strange predicament of likely voting against their own paychecks when the chamber takes up the Democratic budget next week. But that doesn't worry Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "That would be fine with me. I can afford it," he told reporters this week. "Maybe we'll set up cots like we used to. That would be good." McCain, a former prisoner of war, dismissed the threat of losing his pay. "Listen, that's the least of my worries," he said. "I've slept outside before."

President Obama broke the news of the new pope while meeting Wednesday with House Republicans. "I made the announcement that we saw [white] smoke," the president told reporters as he left the Capitol. By the time Obama was back in the Oval Office, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was introducing himself to the world as Pope Francis I. The president later praised the new pontiff as a "champion of the poor and most vulnerable." Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, however, took the occasion to take a swipe at the president. "Smoke from the Vatican means a new pope, not [to] be confused with the smoke Obama is blowing on his wasteful budget," he tweeted. Perhaps Francis's first trip should be to Washington. There's obviously some work to do.

Mike Magner


MURMURS

Flying Blind The first Senate budget in many years brought the return of an odd tradition: holding opening statements before publishing the document. Republican senators opposed to the general contours of Sen. Patty Murray's budget were reduced to citing press accounts of leaked revenue estimates, but that didn't hold them back — statements continued for more than two hours. "How do you explain Congress?" asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said his initial surprise was met with the revelation that Republicans had done the same when they led the committee. "We're talking about a document we haven't seen."

Roughing It If the Senate doesn't pass a budget, senators do not get paid, which puts Republicans in the strange predicament of likely voting against their own paychecks when the chamber takes up the Democratic budget next week. But that doesn't worry Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "That would be fine with me. I can afford it," he told reporters this week. "Maybe we'll set up cots like we used to. That would be good." McCain, a former prisoner of war, dismissed the threat of losing his pay. "Listen, that's the least of my worries," he said. "I've slept outside before."

AMASH UP?

After Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan announced his retirement last week, names of possible GOP aspirants were flying — from Mitt Romney's brother, Scott, to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. But the underdog to watch is a 32-year old Ron Paul acolyte, Rep. Justin Amash, who has been enjoying a wave of publicity in the wake of Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster. One of the youngest members of the House, Amash has been part of the GOP's confrontational wing, voting against John Boehner for speaker and opposing any budget compromises. Amash's criticism of foreign policy hawkishness led John McCain to call him and Rand Paul "wacko birds." In an interview with National Journal this week, Amash wouldn't commit to running for the seat, but he sounded like a candidate, criticizing the GOP establishment for saddling the party with unelectable Senate nominees in recent cycles. None of the GOP's last four Senate nominees have won more than 42 percent of the vote in Michigan. Amash would face hurdles to the nomination, but his libertarian bent would position him to channel the tea-party enthusiasm that propelled other GOP long shots to victory.

Josh Kraushaar


THIS JUST IN

Flying Blind The first Senate budget in many years brought the return of an odd tradition: holding opening statements before publishing the document. Republican senators opposed to the general contours of Sen. Patty Murray's budget were reduced to citing press accounts of leaked revenue estimates, but that didn't hold them back — statements continued for more than two hours. "How do you explain Congress?" asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said his initial surprise was met with the revelation that Republicans had done the same when they led the committee. "We're talking about a document we haven't seen."

Roughing It If the Senate doesn't pass a budget, senators do not get paid, which puts Republicans in the strange predicament of likely voting against their own paychecks when the chamber takes up the Democratic budget next week. But that doesn't worry Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "That would be fine with me. I can afford it," he told reporters this week. "Maybe we'll set up cots like we used to. That would be good." McCain, a former prisoner of war, dismissed the threat of losing his pay. "Listen, that's the least of my worries," he said. "I've slept outside before."

President Obama broke the news of the new pope while meeting Wednesday with House Republicans. "I made the announcement that we saw [white] smoke," the president told reporters as he left the Capitol. By the time Obama was back in the Oval Office, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was introducing himself to the world as Pope Francis I. The president later praised the new pontiff as a "champion of the poor and most vulnerable." Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, however, took the occasion to take a swipe at the president. "Smoke from the Vatican means a new pope, not [to] be confused with the smoke Obama is blowing on his wasteful budget," he tweeted. Perhaps Francis's first trip should be to Washington. There's obviously some work to do.

Mike Magner


MURMURS

Flying Blind The first Senate budget in many years brought the return of an odd tradition: holding opening statements before publishing the document. Republican senators opposed to the general contours of Sen. Patty Murray's budget were reduced to citing press accounts of leaked revenue estimates, but that didn't hold them back — statements continued for more than two hours. "How do you explain Congress?" asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said his initial surprise was met with the revelation that Republicans had done the same when they led the committee. "We're talking about a document we haven't seen."

Roughing It If the Senate doesn't pass a budget, senators do not get paid, which puts Republicans in the strange predicament of likely voting against their own paychecks when the chamber takes up the Democratic budget next week. But that doesn't worry Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "That would be fine with me. I can afford it," he told reporters this week. "Maybe we'll set up cots like we used to. That would be good." McCain, a former prisoner of war, dismissed the threat of losing his pay. "Listen, that's the least of my worries," he said. "I've slept outside before."

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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